DOH Pledges Support for Medical Tourism in Samal

The Department of Health (DOH) is supporting plans for the development of medical tourism in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGCS) in Davao del Norte.

Health Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial assured the all-out support of the department to the proposed modern medical facility to establish the island for medical tourism.

“We will look into putting up a state-of-the-art medical facility in Samal that will primarily cater to the medical needs of tourists,” Asec. Ubial said, during the finalization of the rationalization plan for health in the four provinces of the Davao region.

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario has proposed the development of medical tourism in the island, as part of his strategy to strengthen the health sector, being an important component of his thrust on human development.

During his inaugural message last July, the governor expressed his intention to position IGCS, which is a resort-island city, for medical tourism, besides being a favorite destination for foreign and local retirees seeking a paradise-home of their own.

At present, the island has a district hospital owned and operated by the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte.

Since it is plagued by limited resources, its decrepit building and facilities can hardly provide for the quality health needs of the local populace, much more attract the tourists to seek medical treatment in the facility.

“We have to upgrade the facilities of the hospital,” Ubial said.

She said she will personally lobby for the establishment of a medical center in IGCS, similar to the investments provided by the health department in putting up modern medical facilities to boost medical tourism in the resort islands of Boracay, Camiguin and Siargao.

She bared the DOH invested around P100 million for the medical center in Camiguin, which now have a very state of the art intensive care unit.

The department has also recently transformed a public hospital in Siargao into the St. Luke’s Hospital of the South.

“We can also do that for the Island Garden City of Samal,” she assured, to the delight of the public health executives in the region.

Manila Bulletin

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